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World of Warcraft PvP Guide & Overview

The PvP Guide & Overview lets players dive into the fierce Player vs. Player combats in World of Warcraft. Check out our World of Warcraft PvP Guide & Overview here on
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World of Warcraft PvP Guide & Overview

The PvP Guide & Overview lets players dive into the fierce Player vs. Player combats in World of Warcraft. Check out our World of Warcraft PvP Guide & Overview here on

In World of Warcraft, Player vs. Player (abbreviated PvP) denotes combat between players in any kind, which includes duels, battlegrounds, open-world PvP and Arena matches. World of Warcraft offers many ways to engage in PvP. While Arena revolve purely around combat itself, others like Battlegrounds often feature additional elements such as bases, flags and different objectives. 


Dueling is a way for players in the regular environment to fight each other. Players can duel other players from the same Faction, but also players from the opposite Faction. This mode is perfect for challenging your friends or testing your skills against others in a 1 vs. 1 situation.


How to start a duel

You can right-click on another player’s portrait and select the “Duel” option. A duel flag will be placed infront of you, and if the other player accepts, a countdown will start displaying the time remaining until the duel begins. Your opponent’s character circle turns red, which indicates that this player is now hostile towards you.

You can also send a duel request by targeting the other player and typing “/duel” in chat. This might be more convenient if you are looking to use this in a macro.


How to end a duel

There are two ways to end a duel:

  • Whenever a player’s health is brought down to 1
  • If one of the players leave the area by walking too far away from your duel flag placed.


Players are also able to use “/forfeit” or “/yield” to end a duel. This might be useful whenever you accepted a duel request accidently.


What rewards yield a duel

Winning a duel will not reward any experience, Honor or Loot. Dueling another player is purely for prestige, knowing your skills exceeded the ones of your opponent. Dueling also helps you improving your skill in Player vs. Player combat, learning how your PvP Talents play out during a real encounter in the Open World or other PvP activities.

Whenever winning your first duel, you will be rewarded with the Duel-icious achievement.


Battlegrounds are instanced areas used for player versus player combat (PvP). In them players can participate in team PvP, struggling for victory in one of a number of battlegrounds against a similarly capable team of players from the opposite faction. Battlegrounds are the main way for players to earn honor points, used to purchase PvP rewards. Players can also gain experience points through participating in battlegrounds, making them a viable option for leveling. The first battlegrounds become available at level 10, with new battlegrounds becoming available as the player levels. Players can queue for battlegrounds through the PvP interface.

Battlegrounds represent major staging posts in the ongoing conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. Fighting for the rights to valuable resources, access to powerful technologies or control of strategic ground, these battles rage endlessly. Each faction struggles to assert their dominance in these battlegrounds in the name of their faction and for personal honor, gaining rank and standing among their allies as a result of their actions on the field. Those who demonstrate their bravery and prowess will be rewarded handsomely, with the most powerful gear and weapons in their faction’s armories.


List of Available Battlegrounds
Warsong Gulch

Warsong Gulch is a 10v10 capture the flag battleground. Each side tries to take the opponent flag and capture it at their own base. You can only cap the flag if the enemy isn’t carrying yours. The winner is the first team to achieve 3 caps, or the team with the most caps when the allotted time expires.


Arathi Basin

The Arathi Basin is one of the main staging points of war between the humans and the Forsaken in Azeroth. Arathi Basin is a 15 vs 15 domination battleground, where each side attempts to control the Stables, Blacksmith, Mine, Lumbermill and Farm for as long as possible. The Defilers’ elite troopers seek to sever the vital connection between the humans and their dwarven allies to the south. Meanwhile, the League of Arathor seek to reclaim lost lands for their benefactors in Stormwind.


Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm is a resource race battleground with elements of Capture the Flag, featuring 4 capturable bases and a flag in the center. The overall goal is to be the first team to score 1600 points, which can be gained by holding bases or capturing flags. Players can queue for Eye of the Storm from level 15, through the PvP interface.


Alterac Valley

Hidden within the Alterac Mountains, Alterac Valley is the home of the Frostwolf clan. The Stormpike dwarves have established a foothold in the valley and seek to plumb its depths for riches and links to their ancestral past. A large-scale battleground, each side attempts to destroy each other’s tower fortifications and slay the enemy General (Vanndar Stormpike or Drek’Thar).

Besides its humanoid settlers the valley is also home to frost wolves brought from Draenor, rams, goats and owls.


Isle of Conquest

The Isle of Conquest is a 40 vs 40 battleground. Similar to Alterac Valley, the main objective of the battleground is the defeat of the opposing general, but to achieve this players will have to fight for control of workshops and docks, destroy enemy defenses with siege engines and demolishers, and sky-dive behind enemy lines from massive airships.


Battle for Gilneas

Battle for Gilneas is a 10 vs 10 resource race battleground set in the Ruins of Gilneas.

The Battle for Gilneas takes place on the northwestern coast of the Gilnean peninsula. Following the events of Silverpine Forest, Alliance Forces must fight to control and repel Horde invaders from the rebuilding and war tattered nation of Gilneas, while the Horde invades by ship, with the goal to crush the Alliance in the area, and regain a foothold in Gilneas, all former Forsaken footholds in Gilneas having been destroyed.


Twin Peaks

The Twin Peaks is a 10 vs 10 Capture the Flag battleground. Situated in the Twilight Highlands, it depicts the ongoing battle between the Wildhammer dwarves and the Dragonmaw orcs.

The mechanics for Twin Peaks are identical to those for Warsong Gulch


Silvershard Mines

This battleground takes place underneath Stranglethorn Vale in a Venture Co. goblin mine. Silvershard Mines is a 10 vs 10 escort battleground, in which each side attempts to control diamond carts until they reach the mine depot.


Temple of Kotmogu

Temple of Kotmogu is a 10vs10 resource race battleground, introduced in Mists of Pandaria. Located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, the objective of the battleground is to hold orbs of power for as long as possible, accumulating points but taking (and dealing) more damage the longer you hold it.


Seething Shore

The Seething Shore is a 10vs10 battleground, introduced in Legion. It is a tropical island in the Veiled Sea off the west coast of Silithus and Feralas in Southern Kalimdor, where Azerite is erupting onto the surface. Ogre ruins can be found across the island, and Alliance and Horde gunships hover over it. Nathanos Blightcaller and Mathias Shaw oversee their factions’ efforts on the island, and serve as announcers for gameplay purposes.


Deepwind Gorge

Deepwind Gorge is a 15vs15 domination battleground, redesigned in patch 8.3. Prior to its redesign, it was a resource race battleground. Set in the Valley of the Four Winds, the objective of the battleground is to be the first to generate 1500 resources.



Players are rewarded for participating in battlegrounds mainly through Honor Points. Players receive these for honorable kills and for completing various objectives, as well as receiving a substantial portion at the completion of a battleground – especially if their side is victorious. Battlegrounds are the main source for honor points, leading many players to participate in them for the express purpose of obtaining PvP rewards.

Rated battlegrounds offer rewards in the form of Conquest Points, but also in the chance to improve personal and team ratings. As well as being linked to a range of achievements, achieving sufficient battleground rating will grant players PvP titles.


Arenas are instanced zones in which teams of players can compete against each other in a deathmatch-style battle. These arenas are not based on objectives unlike Battlegrounds, but simply your team’s ability to defeat the other team. Two teams of the same faction are allowed to battle each other in arenas.

Most Arenas are instanced zones, which players automatically teleport into after using the PvP Interface. There are some exceptions to this in the open world, which allow Player vs. All combat, where as many players as available can enter the arena to fight against each other. Those exceptions are:

  • Gurubashi Arena in Cape of Stranglethorn
  • Arena Floor in Nagrand
  • Circle of Blood in Blade’s Edge Mountains
  • Darkmoon Deathmatch in Darkmoon Island


Arena matches are available in ranked mode or skirmish (unranked). While a skirmish can be used for simply engaging into arenas against any other team regardless of their skill, in Ranked mode you will be matched against a team with a similar PvP Rating. Players can use the PvP Interface to que for arenas. You can que on your own or as a group for a skirmish, but you need to be in a group for a ranked match of either 2vs2, 3vs3 or 5vs5. 

Solo Shuffle is a ranked version of Arenas, where players can only que by themself, but will be put together in a team of a 3vs3 match with other random players. They play 6 rounds of a 3vs3 match, with the teams being shuffled at the end of each match.



Arena combat have a number of restrictions, which are intended to balance and improve fairness in a match. Therefore, certain items or skills are not usable in arenas. Restricted spells and items are:

  • Raid-wide cooldowns like Bloodlust
  • Abilities with long cooldown like Army of the Dead
  • Raid-wide resurrection spells like Ancestral Vision
  • Consumables of all kind which provide a buff, including Flasks, Food. Consumables like bandages or purchased water can be used.


The Arena Fight

There are currently 15 different arena locations, with each of them offering different obstacles like pillars and walls which players can use to their tactical advantage. Those Arenas are:

  • Ring of Trials arena in Nagrand
  • Circle of Blood Arena in Blade’s Edge Mountains
  • Ruins of Lordaeron arena in Tirisfal Glades
  • Dalaran Arena in the Underbelly of Dalaran 
  • Tol’Viron Arena in Uldum
  • Tiger’s Peak arena in Kun-Lai Summit
  • Ashamane’s Fall arena in Val’sharah
  • Black Rook Hold Arena in Val’sharah
  • Hook Point in Boralus 
  • The Mugambala in Zuldazar
  • The Robodrome in Mechagon Island
  • Empyrean Domain in Bastion
  • Maldraxxus Coliseum in Maldraxxus
  • Enigma Crucible in Zereth Mortis
  • Nokhudon Proving Grounds in Ohn’ahran Plains


Starting Area

After teleporting into the arena by using the PvP Interface, players start in the staging area. Your health, mana and energy are restored, all buffs removed and conjured items are removed. Pets are dismissed, but can be summoned again. Debuffs will persist in the staging area. Players are granted the Arena Preparation buff, which removes the cost all abilities. Players are not able to see the opposite team yet.

The Fight

After the 60 seconds of preparation, the gates of each team will open and you can finally detect your opponent’s team. If they include classes in stealth, you will only know which classes they use whenever they engage into combat with you.

The Fight ends, whenever all players of one team are defeated, or a team surrenders. If the match lasts for 25 minutes and neither team has won in that time, the match will end in a draw. To prevent this from happening, and the arena lasting for too long, players will receive a Dampening debuff after 5 miuntes. Dampening is a stacking debuff that occurs in Arena matches that run too long, designed to prevent matches from ending in a draw. This debuff reduced healing and absorption received by 1% per stack. Dampening applies after 5 minutes, and after that a new stack is applied every 10 seconds.

After the Fight

After the match ended by one team either fully died or left, a statistics window is shown similar to the ones in Battlegrounds. It displays caused damage and healing, and the amount of Ranking all palyers either won or lost, including their previous ranking.



Skirmishes do not affect your Rating. They are intended to be a good way to practice before you start playing in ranked Arenas. Skirmishes will yield Honor experience for your Honor Level, reward a chest including a PvP item and gold, and rarely even a piece of Conquest PvP gear. Below max level, skirmished will grant experience instead of a strongbox.

Ranked matches will reward Rating depending on the Rating difference between you and the opposite team. If you win the match, you will be rewarded aswell with a strongbox, containing PvP Gear, experience towards your Honor Level and Conquest. Conquest can be used to obtain stronger PvP Gear and other items.

Additionally, every Season you will be able to earn a seasonal reward by completing certain tasks like winning 100 ranked arena matches.


PvP Brawls are a Player vs. Player mode that is available every other week and offers a variety of modes, rules, and scenic changes to the usual battleground gameplay. Most, but not all, Brawls consist of tweaks to existing battlegrounds or arenas. When a Brawl is available, it can be queued for through the Player vs. Player interface. Entering a Brawl will prompt Something Different, which can be completed once per event.

The goal of Brawls is to add variation to the battleground experience, and also allows Blizzard to experiment with new ideas for rulesets, match types, and game types. The most successful Brawls could potentially become permanent fixtures in the PvP landscape in the future.


This the current list of available Brawls, rotating every two weeks.

  • Arathi Blizzard
    Put away your bathing suit, pull out your parka, and enter a winter wonderland as the Arathi Basin you know and love gets a fresh coat of ice and snow. You’ll be racing your way between the farm, stables, mine, lumberyard, and blacksmith through piles of snow and over a – mostly – frozen lake. One more thing: the weather forecast calls for a bit of fog of war. We hope you’re prepared for the weather.

  • Classic Ashran
    Classic Ashran is an open-ended tug-of-war battleground with special events around the zone, including quests and events.

  • Comp Stomp
    Jump into Arathi Basin for a head-to-head for battle against AI opponents in this classic battle.

  • Cooking Impossible
    Nomi is hosting a Pandaren Chili Cookoff in the Valley of the Four Winds between the Alliance and the Horde! The first to bring Nomi all of the required ingredients wins.

  • Deep Six
    Deep Six pits teams of six players against each other in three iconic Battlegrounds: Warsong Gulch, Silvershard Mines, and Temple of Kotmogu. Each Battleground offers a little variation on the traditional format, such as flags that are a bit closer in Warsong Gulch, less carts to keep track of in Silvershard Mines, and only two orbs within the Temple of Kotmogu.

  • Deepwind Dunk
    Can you even dunk? If you want to win this brawl, you’re going to need to work on your skills because Dunkball has come to Pandaria. You’ll race to claim balls from the map’s center, or northern, or southern mines, take them to your enemy’s base, and then go for a magnificent long range shot or go all in for the dunk.

  • Gravity Lapse
    Gravity getting you down? Step into the Eye of the Storm and be prepared for a whole new en-lighten-ing experience. Every minute, players on the battlefield will find themselves launched into the air, only to gently fall toward the ground again in a perpetual aerial ballet as they try to accrue enough resources to take the win home for their team.

  • Packed House
    We’ve put more PvP in your PvP! In Packed House, there’s nowhere to hide as you face not 2, not 3, not 5, but 15 adversaries in this 15 vs. 15 Arena battle.

  • Shado-Pan Showdown
    Step into Tiger’s Peak Arena and get ready for the Shadow-Pan Showdown. You’ll race for control of a center control point to activate one of two bosses. The first to kill the other team’s boss wins!

  • Tarren Mill vs. Southshore
    Originally introduced as a part of the World of Warcraft 10-Year Anniversary event, this Brawl harkens back to the early days of WoW PvP, with an epic battle between the two towns of Tarren Mill and Southshore. In this game of war, you’ll need to work as a team and deplete your foes’ resources to claim victory.

  • Temple of Hotmogu
    Enter the Temple of Kotmogu for this fast-paced match. For a whole new twist, players will be able throw the Orb of Power to friendly players in a game of hot potato. Beware, they’ll also gain the debuffs along with the orb so choose wisely. We’re turning things up (to 11) by changing resurrection time to a quick 5 seconds. Who will be able to hold on to the power to claim victory?

  • Warsong Scramble
    Do you have a flag? Warsong Gulch has always been the scene of an epic capture-the-flag battle, but what happens when you can capture your enemy’s flag without your own at base? Or if there are multiple flags at each base? Find out when you step into this PvP Brawl! We’ve also added a few more power-ups to the field of battle to stir things up a bit. To win, your team will need to be the first to capture 10 flags.

PvP Zones

PvP zones or world battles are non-instanced zones designed for PvP combat, featuring objectives like siege weapons, destructible buildings and other objectives with lasting effects. Players will be automatically flagged for PvP whenever entering these zones. PvP zones are a unique form of PvP somewhere between World PvP and Battlegrounds. These zones are essentially normal areas of the game world, with the addition of specific battleground-like objectives.

These large Zones are PvP Zones with lasting effects, unlocking Daily Quests depending on which faction won the battle.

  • Wintergraps in Northend
  • Tol Barad
  • Specific World Quests in Legion, Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands, designed for PvP World Quests
  • (Ashran in Warspear with the exception of Ashran being an queable Heroic Battleground)



Entering a PvP zone

PvP Zones can be entered at any time by just simply traveling into that area. You will not be granted the Deserter debuff whenever you leave those zones again. Those Zones do not engage into their battles all the time, but instead running on a time schedule. These battles occur frequently (usually every 2 hours), and both factions have to fight each other for the control over the zone.



These PvP zones will have lasting effects on the zone itself whenever the battle is over. The winning faction has the control over that zone, which unlocks certain features only available to the winning faction for aslong they remain control over the zone. In Wintergraps and Tol’Barad, players unlock Daily Quests which can only be completed by the conquering faction. Access to the additional PvE Raid might also be limited to them. World Quests which are designed for PvP will not have long lasting changes to the whole zone, but during the time of which the World Quest is active, players will have to engage into combat with the opposite faction whenever trying to complete these World Quests.



Participating in the battle for a PvP Zone will usually reward experience towards your Honor Level, as well as related currencies to these zones which can be turned into Cosmetics and other things on the reputation vendor.

PvP World Quests usually yield Conquest aswell for completing them.

World PvP

World PvP refers to activities in the open world, revolving around organised or spontaneous PvP activities, but not refer to duels. World PvP is spontaneous combat between two or more players, simply for the thrill of battle. In comparison to organized battlegrounds or arenas, World PvP is unpredictable, unbalanced and usually unprovoked, and can offer some of the wildest and most unfair PvP to be found.

To enable World PvP, press N (default keybind) to open your Talents. In the bottom right corner, you will be able to find a button to activate War Mode. War Mode enables flags you permanently for World PvP, activates your PvP Talents until you disable it again in a capitol city. Activating War Mode will grant you additional rewards, the amount is depending on your current faction. You will receive additional experience, reputation and quest rewards by enabling War Mode

There are certain zones featuring specific objectives which encourage world PvP, by offering certain bonuses to players of the faction which currently controls those objectives.

Those world zones encouraging World PvP are:

  • Timeless Isle
  • Krasarang Wilds
  • Hellfire Peninsula
  • Zangarmarsh
  • Terokkar Forest
  • Nagrand
  • Silithus


Timeless Isle

Whenever you use a Censer of Eternal Agony on the Timeless Isle, you become hostile against all other players including your own faction. Whenever you land a killing blow, you will be rewarded with a Bloody Coin, of which hundreds are required for rewards.


Krasarang Wilds

Alliance and Horde fleets landed on opposite ends of Krasarang Wilds. Players can capture graveyards and a forward base location, granting the holding faction buffs while in the general vicinity. This is useful for the new daily quests added at the same time.


Hellfire Peninsula

There are three fortifications on the Hellfire Peninsula, the Overlook, the Stadium and Broken Hill. Upon gaining control of all 3 fortifications, the members of your faction gain the buff Hellfire Superiority, which decreases damage done by enemies in the zone by 5%, and even works in dungeons and raids in the Hellfire Citadel.



Similar to the Hellfire Peninsula, players can compete for the control of the Twin Spire Ruins. When both beacons are controlled by your faction, the tower in the center becomes available for capture aswell. Capturing this point will turn it into a graveyard for the controlling faction. Additionally, players of the controlling faction will gain the Twin Spire Blessing


Terokkar Forest

Five towers can be conquered by players, which will reward the Blessing of Auchindoun buff to the faction that controlls all towers at the same time. Additionally, players are able to collect Spirit Shard in Auchindoun dungeons for six hours. These can be turned into PvP rewards.



The single plateau in the middle of Nagrand is called Halaa, and can be conquered by both factions. There are 15 NPC guards based in Halaa that must be killed before the city becomes available for capture. Players can locate Flightmasters around the city which allow you to fly over Halaa and throw bombs onto those guards, but you can also engage them in traditional combat. After killing the guards, players simply have to occupy Halaa long enough until they captured it. This will unlock certain NPCs that will sell you even certain mounts for the Halaa Battle Token that you are rewarded after killing a player character during the conquest of Halaa.



Both Alliance and Horde have the quest Scouring the Desert. The object of the quest is to collect Silithyst from the geysers around the zone and deliver them to your respective base. Upon picking up the Silithyst you are flagged for PvP combat and receive a debuff which slows them down. This debuff is removed whenever a player turns in the Silithyst in their faction base, or try to mount while carrying Silithyst.